You are here: Genvive Maria Montessori
Montessori was an Italian educator, physician, philosopher, humanitarian and devout Catholic.
Maria Montessori is famous for her innovative ideas in education.
She is best known for her philosophy and the Montessori method of education of children from birth to adolescence with focusing on preschool education.
The Montessori system is based on belief in children's creative potential, their natural "tendency towards elevation," and also on existence of distinct stage of development and sensitive periods for acquiring basic faculties. The theoretical backgrounds consist concepts of children's absorbent mind, their tends to spontaneous self-discipline and efficiency of Multi-age grouping, physical exercise and play activity.
The chief components of the Montessori method are: the potentially gifted child with an inner drive to learning, enriched prepared environment and teacher as a helper, guide and encourager.
These components realise as:
1. Freedom for individualized, self-directed learning and individual liberty of children to choose their own activities. It was emphasized self-education, self-motivation and self-realization.
2. Creation of a learning environment that calls to the unfolding intellect and personality of the child, stimulates their natural instincts and interests for self-education Such environment prepared with the classroom materials designed for development of sensory-motor ability, abstract thinking and the logical thought. These materials, consisting of "learning games" suited to a child's abilities and interests. This environment created a place that was calm and orderly, where children took care of themselves and helped each other.
3. Observation and indirect teaching. This indirect teaching to control the environment, not the child. The teacher's role is to observe children engaged in activities that follow their own natural interests and leades to their own perfect self-directed development.
Her educational method is in use today in a number of public as well as private schools throughout the world.
In all probability her sad experiences in the pursuit of the medical degree reinforced her for active participation in international feminist movement.
In 1886 she entered the Regio Istituto Tecnico Leonardo da Vinci. Here she studied math, natural sciences, and languages, again excelling beyond all expectations. It was here too that she became enthralled with the biological sciences, and began to dream of pursuing a career in medicine.
But in 1890, when Montessori applied to the University of Rome, she was denied entrance to the medical program because of her gender. She enrolled at the University to study physics, mathematics, and the natural sciences. Eventually, despite her gender and thanks to her diligence, she was allowed to study medicine.
In 1894 Maria Montessori graduated from the University of Rome La Sapienza Medical School, took a degree in medicine and became the first woman physician in Italy. When she graduated she specialized in pediatrics.
She continued research at the University of Rome, joining the university staff in 1897. In 1898 she was appointed director of the State Orthophrenic School in Rome, whose function was to care for the "hopelessly deficient" and " special needs " children of the city. In 1904 had accepted a professorship in anthropology at the University of Rome.
Her interest in children and education led her to open school for mentally retarded children in 1907, and for the next 40 years she traveled throughout Europe, India, and the U.S., lecturing, writing, and setting up Montessori schools.
During her work at the University of Rome she fell in love with his colleague and became pregnant. Rather than marry, the determined and unconventional Montessori gave her infant son as fosterling to a family in the countryside. Her son would return to her side at age fifteen, and eventually become her most valued assistant.
In the year 1939, the Theosophical Society of India extended an invitation asking Maria Montessori to visit India. She reached India the very same year accompanied by her only son, Mario Montessori Sr. This heralded the beginning of her special relationship with India.
Montessori lived out the remainder of her life in the Netherlands, which now hosts the headquarters of the AMI, or Association Montessori Internationale She died in 1952.
Remains: Buried, Noordwijk aan Zee, Netherlands.